Category: Ashton Under lyne

They keep trying to trip us up at every step.

Dear readers it’s Thursday yet again and time to update the blog. I hope that you’re all ok and coping with what feels like a constant onslaught of cruelty from the Tory government.

It appears that Boris Johnson will most likely be our next prime minister so god help us all. We can guarantee that things will become worse under his rule.

If you’d have asked me years ago if I envisaged this country being in such a mess I would have replied no. Even if we get a new Labour prime minister it’s going to take years to sort out the Tory party mess. I’ll not even start on Brexit…

The weather was good today and even though there was just two of us for ages the mood was good, maybe the weather helped or discussing our plans for the Peterloo march to Manchester this year. When I get a link for this I’ll post it on my blog.

As usual our food parcels went straight away. They’re essential and really help people in a time of great need.

I honestly thought like packing it all in last week, the amount of criticism that I receive sometimes can be all consuming and it’s hard to take my mind off it. I do these demos to help people and to protest against the inhumane treatment given to the poorest and most vulnerable in society. It’s a point of principle for me. I was always taught to treat people as I like to be treated, only the Tory party must be reading another guide book, the clearly don’t give a stuff and are willing to drag this country into down as far as it will go. For them it doesn’t matter because they can walk away from the mess they make.

David Cameron, Ian Duncan Smith, Esther Mcvey and Amber Rudd one day we will get justice. Karma or whatever you call it can be a t**t sometimes can’t it.

We offer help, advice, signposting, copies of our survival guide and friendship. If you need help you’ll get it without having to fill out forms and wait ages in a queue. And like I mentioned earlier food parcels but they normally leave as quickly as they arrive.

I really hate the fact that there is a need for them and I will always do everything in my power to protest about this. My health isn’t brilliant sometimes but it’s better than a lot of the people that I speak to and who read this blog.

We are having lots of success with our survival guide, people are reading it and following the instructions which is why we made it. We are seeing people whom we have spoken to in the past and handed a leaflet to going into the Jobcentre with a file of some sorts, all their paperwork and they record any calls from and to the DWP. They record our calls so if you can do this it’s really helpful. If you have a smartphone you can download a free app from either the play store or the App Store over on Iphones.

For those that say that we’re useless, do nothing and are troublemakers the proof is in the pudding. We actually do quite a lot like other groups do throughout the country. We should all be welcomed and not scorned.

The universal credit system isn’t fit for purpose as you know. I can give you an example from todays conversations.

Both myself and Gordon had a conversation with a man that had received two DWP appointments via text message for the same day. One appointment was this morning and the other was this afternoon.

Because he wasn’t sure which was the real appointment he arrived for the morning appointment only to be told that it was this afternoon. So he then had to hang around Ashton-under-Lyne town centre until it was time for his appointment.

If this gentleman had been in poor health or disabled he might not have been able to do this. It’s a system that’s failing everyone except the government. They won’t admit this though.

Let’s see if Amber Rudd actually gets round to cutting the at least five week wait for a first universal credit payment. I wouldn’t hold my breath though, they’re in no rush to do so because it saves them money. The cost for us however is high. Our health both physical and mental suffers greatly and it’s near impossible to climb out of poverty once entrapped in it.

For anyone doubting this, take it from me I know because like the people that I speak to I’m in the same position.

We spoke to a nice chap whom I’m going to name Tom. Tom is an older man trying his best to navigate this awful system. He didn’t have a good word to say about universal credit. He did however tell me how he felt about it.

‘It’s a system that keeps wanting to trip us up at every step. There’s no let up is there? I honestly can’t see an end to it and it makes me so annoyed.” He went on to say that he hated having to live like this, chasing jobs that aren’t real, trying to keep a computer system happy. ‘It’s just not fair is it”.

Damn right it isn’t fair.

We spoke to quite a few people that were making a new application for universal credit. We handed them a copy of our survival guide and we hope that this has made things a bit easier for them. My heart goes out to them.

Schools are now breaking up for the summer holidays and not having a penny to spend on food or trips out will affect even more children this summer. Having to say no all the time to a child’s request is also devastating for the parents. We hide it well, but every time we have to say no a little piece of us dies a little. This is how it affects me. I hate feeling like this as much as you do.

Without a doubt both children and their parents will be going hungry this summer. Some schools and voluntary organisations will be opening to feed children at lunch times. If you know of anywhere near where you live that is doing this please comment on my blog so that my readers can see it. Thanks.

I had a long conversation with a man whom like myself lives with hydrocephalus only a different kind. He suffers from black-outs and has to spend prolonged time in hospital whilst they treat him.

I asked this chap how he was getting along with the system and he told me that he’s making an application for universal credit and is hoping that the DWP take notice of his fit notes (sick notes). I gave him some info and a copy of our survival guide.

He’s going to find it near impossible to find a job that will take note of his disability and employ him. It’s ridiculous even to suggest it. I really hope that he’s ok.

We had quite a few complaints about the new building, mostly about the lack of adequate signage, directions to lifts and the awful steps. I’m definitely going to address this with my local council and I hope that these problems will be sorted out.

Honestly it’s not rocket science to put signs up is it. People shouldn’t be left to guess where they should go. It’ll even put people off from attending appointments or requesting help.

Another complaint was that there isn’t any LED sign etc to tell people with hearing problems that their number has been called in the council part of the building. This needs rectifying asap.

This week was challenging, but very productive. I encouraged a woman to appeal her PIP decision and I’ve put support in place for her to do this.

I also had a conversation with a security guard employee whom I think actually employs people over at the college side of the building. I told him about the two wages in one month scenario and he is definitely interested in changing paydays so that any employees don’t suffer from this. Yes the DWP are still doing this.

We will be returning next week to help more people. We love doing this because it gives people hope as many of you will know. A massive thank you to everyone else that are also taking action like we are. You’re all amazing.

Get well messages for Roy, he’s not well at the moment and we’re missing him so much. Get well soon!!!

Thank you to Gordon for being an absolute superstar and my Twitter follower for coming and saying hello. You know who you are!! You made me smile so much!!

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog to other, even your local Tory MP or councillor. They need to know what the reality of this situation is even though they’ll either choose to deny it or will ignore it.

There’s also a donation button at the side and top of my blog for anyone wanting to donate. I am actively looking for a job and if anyone knows of a job suitable for me please let me know. Thank you so, so much.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog. You all give me the strength to carry on as do my wonderful friends. I really couldn’t do this without you all.

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PIP assessment two weeks ago a compliance letter today. The harassment continues.

Dear readers, it’s Thursday again. I hope that you’re all ok and doing your best to survive the cruel DWP system.

Today was a busy day and we helped lots of people. The food parcels went straight away as usual, it’s awful that it is this is happening in the first place. The governments persecution of poor and disabled people is never ending isn’t it and there’s an endless pot of money available for it as well.

I’ll try to be as brief as possible and as usual I won’t divulge the identity of anyone that I spoke to today out of respect.

We spoke to lots of people with varied problems and concerns, not one of them told us that they liked the system and nor is it helping them either. Most of the people that I spoke to also expressed their concerns about how much more worse off they are now. Basically it’s extremely hard to manage and it’s even worse when it’s winter and they have to find extra money to heat their homes.

Most of the people that we spoke to had or have had confusion and problems with the system and this has resulted in them suffering financially which then also affected their heath and mental wellbeing. I truly believe that there are thousands of people now suffering with PTSD as a result of the pernicious DWP system, many people want to run and hide.

This brings me to a conversation that I had with a woman that has luckily now found a job. As I offered her a leaflet she expressed her concerns about the system and how vulnerable people are expected to cope. She herself found the computer application daunting and even she struggled with it and stressed that it would be near impossible for many people.

Later in the conversation she told me that she is a volunteer for The Samaritans and that she speaks to far more people that are worried about Universal Credit and PIP ESA assessments, in fact most of the people that she speaks to are concerned about this.

The reality is that more and more of us are questioning our own mortality and that of others, years ago it wouldn’t have really crossed our minds because we knew that we’d be ok and would get through any problems that we had.

The introduction of the new DWP system and the introduction of so called medical assessments has completely taken any hope away that they ever had and I’m not sure if we’ll ever be able to get over this.

We’re still having problems with the huge stairs to the Jobcentre, there isn’t enough signage to say that there’s a lift inside that people can use. I hope that this is rectified soon because disabled people are having to use the stairs leaving them exhausted.

Some of the conversations that we have with people can be very disheartening and concerning. I handed Liz a leaflet and I asked her if she was ok. She told me that she’d just had a tough time in the Jobcentre and I asked her why. Her situation is this;

Liz cares for her daughter who is disabled. Her daughter has to go into hospital for a sixteen hour operation, the date of the operation clashes with her next signing on appointment.

Liz asked if she could change the date of the appointment because she had to be at the hospital with her daughter.

Liz told me that she was treated awfully by her job coach and at first they denied this request so she had to plead her case, telling me that she was spoken to like rubbish and it was inferred that the Jobcentre appointment was more important.

Eventually her job coach agreed to changing the appointment date to wait for it…. The next day. No consideration was given for the fact that she’s going to be both physically and mentally exhausted.

It’s overwhelmingly obvious that the DWP don’t give a stuff, but we hope that the operation is a success. Their nothing but a bunch of heartless cowards.

Sanctions are still happening folks, I spoke to a young man that was midway through a long sanction. He had been ill with depression and he had given up on life. He hadn’t been told that he could appeal so I advised him that he could do so. He’s got another 18 weeks of his sanction left. Horrible isn’t it.

I had a conversation with a woman that I had recently taken to a PIP assessment. I thought that she had come to tell me about the decision about the assessment but no, it was further persecution from the DWP.

This morning she had received a letter stating that she has to attend a telephone compliance interview, failure to do this would ensure that her payments would be stopped straight away.

Whilst this is not unusual, I want to highlight this. The persecution of disabled people never ends and despite empty promises from Amber Rudd etc nothing really is changing. It’s hard enough being disabled combined with the worry that the DWP are going to stop your payments at any time is far too much for many to cope with.

Both myself and Gordon spoke to the family of an 87 year old woman’s family that are having problems trying to get a new bin for their mother. Basically what happened is this.

The family had arranged for the local council to have her bin collected from inside her garden and they bring it back to save her the job of collecting her bin. She’s unable to do this and this arrangement had worked well for ages.

This week however her bin wasn’t returned and it was promptly stolen so they went to the council offices to request a replacement. They were told that they wouldn’t be replacing the bin ad they’d have to pay for a new one.

I suggested that they contact their local MP who hopefully can rectify this.

Last but not least I spoke to a young man who us completely baffled by the system and had problems with both his DWP claim and his council tax. I advised him and signposted him and I really hope that he does get a resolution to this.

I can’t stress how important it is that we continue our work because it has proved to be essential. We often speak to people when they’re in a state of crisis and often shock and we will be returning next week to do the same.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Many thanks to my readers that already do this.

Please support my blog, I’m a skint single parent trying my best to help people. There’s a donation button at the top and side of this blog. Many thanks to my readers that have already done this. Thank you so much xxx.

It’s almost as if universal credit was created to destroy working class communities…

Every week for around five years I’ve stood outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre helping claimants, signposting them, providing food, support, providing survival guides, taking people to ESA and PIP medicals and tribunals.

The situation for claimants is certainly not getting any better, in fact its become much worse.

Nearly every person that I’ve spoken to throughout the years have had problems with the computer based universal system. Sometimes it crashes, won’t let them into their own account and it certainly isn’t accessible for all claimants.

Over the years I have spoken to people that are forced to use a computer, usually at the Jobcentre even though they can’t read or write or haven’t a clue how to use a computer. Just because someone is young certainly doesn’t mean that they’re able to use a computer but the DWP refuse to recognise that.

Today I spoke to an older lady, a WASPI lady that should have been receiving her pension but was instead conned out of it by the government and thrown on the scrap heap and forced to claim universal credit.

Because she doesn’t know how to use a computer it’ll be very hard for her to fulfil the requirements made upon claimants when claiming universal credit.

Today was her first appointment and she was inside the Jobcentre for around 3/4 of a hour. She came out flustered, confused and had gained a headache. She isn’t respected at all by the system and she asked me how on earth could she learn how to use a computer competently.

The DWP didn’t offer her any advice but I noted yesterday that the library downstairs is offering free computer courses so I signposted her there.

The DWP are quick to shirk away from any caring responsibilities towards claimants, occasionally you might get a nice job coach and that’s if you’re lucky. Instead the burden lies with local services with no links to the DWP.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a member of the library staff, I asked her how she found the new library and what was it like having to share the building with the DWP. Her answer was that it was ‘very interesting’ and they weren’t particularly enjoying it but that they have to put up with it.

I also asked her if it had increased their workload and if anything had changed. Her reply was that they’re doing their best to keep up with demand but there’s so many people requesting help that it’s hard for them to keep up. The demand for their computer courses is high and we felt like the DWP could do more to help.

Also noted was that the library has become much busier, some come into the library and stay for hours, to keep warm or cool and that it was a good job that there is a security guard to help out when needed.

Having to share the building with the DWP has certainly increased their workload ad not always in a good way. I admire librarians I really do, they work so hard and they also love their work. Thank you.

Today I spoke to at least three people with disabilities that were being forced to migrate onto universal credit because of changes in their circumstances. They’re all finding it extremely hard but most people just accept that they’ll have no money for at least five weeks.

Many people are just accepting that this is the way it is and they’ll have to go hungry, sell their possessions etc in a bid to survive. Many people become ill as a result of universal credit and the whole process, indeed many people have been diagnosed with PTSD as a result.

One thing is certain, the DWP and the government are the only winners here.

I also spoke to people wanting to improve their situation but are denied this. They have to do whatever the DWP says or else. They’d rather we all worked for nothing on a workfare scheme rather than get a paid job because the DWP and the company involved both benefit financially from this.

Meanwhile the claimant that would rather be looking for work or studying is used for free labour and end up in more poverty as a result. It’s sickening.

The right wing media plays a big part in influencing a persons opinion of benefit claimants. It tells them that they’re lazy, work-shy, scroungers that want something for nothing. I’ve even had someone tell me that they want all unemployed people to be shipped off to another country.

It’s ironic that many of the people making these comments are now having to claim universal credit isn’t it. But I doubt that it’s changed their opinion of others.

Today we handed out all of our food parcels and I hate that there’s the need for them. That need wont be going for many years yet. We spoke to lots of people and offered help and advice, signposting and a copy of our survival guide. Very aptly named because it is the survival of the fittest.

I really wish that I didn’t have to be there doing this but it’s much needed just as much as it was five years ago. We do our best and thats all we can do.

We will be returning next week outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre from 10-12. Please come and join us because we really need your support.

A huge thank you to Gordon for coming along today, he’s an absolute superstar.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

Please support my blog if you can I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to make the world a better place. I’m being moved over to universal credit next week and to be honest I’m dreading it.

A huge thank you to all my readers and to everyone that has supported my blog. You all keep me going.

Sanctioned woman with four children. How will this encourage her to find work Amber Rudd?

Dear readers, a miracle occurred today! It wasn’t raining! This was fantastic because we’re a tad fed up with the constant rain.

It was quiet busy today and we handed out almost all of our survival guides and distributed our food parcels to people needing them. It’s an absolute travesty that they’re needed in the first place, but it’s only going to get worse, and I hate saying that.

Yesterday evening I spoke at a local NEU meeting about universal credit, poverty, children and young people. It was an excellent meeting I just hope that I didn’t depress them too much.

The sad reality is that for the poorest life in the UK is extremely hard, gruelling and punishing and it’s no surprise that the mortality levels keep on rising.

The effects of living in poverty will become all apparent in the future when the children and young people reach adulthood. Poverty really does take a toll both physically and mentally even if you don’t realise at the time and often surface later on in life.

Today I spoke to lots of people, most of them were disabled and struggling to cope. I saw tears, frustration, anger and people that are very close to giving up. What right does the government have to treat vulnerable people in this way? It won’t be stopping anytime soon either.

As usual I won’t be revealing a persons real name. Everyone that I spoke to received help, advice, food, signposting and solidarity. It’s extremely vital that we are able to continue our important work.

The first person that I spoke to had arrived at the Jobcentre with his bicycle and he wasn’t allowed to take his bike inside with him whilst he attended his appointment so we offered to look after it for him. He’s a lovely chap just trying his best to cope in a very difficult world.

It was then that I spotted a woman leaving the Jobcentre with her partner. She was visibly upset so I walked over and asked her if I could help her. This is her situation.

Janet is a mother of four children, she suffers from memory loss which she says it getting much worse. She forgot to attend a meeting at the Jobcentre because of her memory loss but when she saw that she should have attended a meeting she dashed down to the Jobcentre with her partner.

Janet was then met with the words ‘We’re going to sanction you because you didn’t attend a meeting’. She tried to tell them that she’s not well and suffers from memory loss and she said that they weren’t interested, she was going to be sanctioned and she was told to leave.

Janet should be receiving lots more support than she is at present. She hadn’t been advised about anything regarding her disabilities and nor did they care. I then advised her about what to do, I also advised her partner about what he can do to help her regarding this situation. I also signposted them to their local MP for help, I really hope that they’ve telephoned their office.

We also gave them a food parcel and stood with her whilst she was crying wondering how on earth she would manage to look after her children, because she’s not going to be able to buy them any food etc. She feels like a failure to them and everyone.

I hope that my words of support helped her and showed her that we do care and she is loved.

Sanctions appear to have gone under the radar until this week, indeed I’ve been campaigning against them for years as have others. I tell people that sanctions kill people, some have called me an extremist for saying this but it’s far from extreme isn’t it.

We need to continue to put pressure on the government, and remind them that they need to stop withdrawing the means of survival from vulnerable claimants. They shouldn’t be the ones to decide if a person lives or dies.

It was then that I spotter ‘Irene’ walking towards the Jobcentre with her friend.

Irene has been waiting since May for a decision about her claim for universal credit. She’s trying to survive on her sons pension. Her son died a few years ago.

Most of this pension money is spent on paying her rent, and she’s left with about £15 a month to live on.

So far Irene has been sent to three different Jobcentres by the DWP and not one of them have helped her so far, meanwhile her friend is buying her food etc.

For various reasons Irene isn’t able to use a computer, both herself and her friend had already told the DWP this and it was noted, but it didn’t stop a DWP telephone advisor from telling her to “GET A GRIP AND USE A COMPUTER”.

Of course this upset Irene and she just didn’t know what to do.

I advised her to telephone her local MPs office and ask them for their help. She really needs their support because MPs are really good at this, well our local MPs are and I appreciate that we’re lucky.

Irene was so thankful for the help, she’s so fed up with being messed around by the system. Lets hope that she gets some good news soon.

We then spoke to a man that has been waiting since May for a decision from a DWP decision maker. He told us that the DWP owed him money and this is probably why they’re taking their time in responding.

He’s probably correct. The DWP are extremely quick at taking money away from people but extremely slow at repaying money back that they owe.

Remember Amber Rudd telling everyone that universal credit is wonderful for everyone that has been in prison? Tell this to Dave, he can’t get a job because of his criminal record and can’t afford to become self employed either.

Amber Rudd you’re a liar and you know it don’t you.

It was then that we had a conversation with Gill and her partner. Gill is disabled and has fibromyalgia and other health problems.

Gill and her partner were forced to make a claim for universal credit which took ten weeks to be processed. Yes ten weeks, she’s disabled for heavens sake.

Gill recently failed a DWP medical assessment and is in the process of appealing.

Gill and her partner are now in debt with everyone and is forced to attend the Jobcentre for ‘meetings’. Are they going to magically cure her? I doubt it but they will make her even more unwell.

Quite understandably they’re extremely frustrated and depressed. This government really hates people with disabilities.

I had a short conversation with a woman about her council tax and how much of a struggle it is to pay it. I can totally relate to this.

Just before we left Gordon asked a young man if he needed any help. He told us that he was ok but they (the DWP) really hate him in there (the Jobcentre).

To be fair the DWP don’t like any of us do they.

We will be returning next week as usual, but we really need more support and we would love more people to join us. There’s only two of us now and I was going to organise our yearly anniversary demo, but there’s not much point if no ones going to be there.

I really hate to have to ask and I apologise for doing so.

Please read, share, tweet, email and talk about my blog.

Help a stranger, become a friend and understand that this could well happen to you. Most of my readers do realise this.

I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help others. I’m also going to be moved onto universal credit in the near future.

A massive thanks to all my readers and to everyone for supporting my blog. It means the world to me and the people that we help.

Sanctioned woman with four children. How will this encourage her to find work Amber Rudd?

Dear readers, a miracle occurred today! It wasn’t raining! This was fantastic because we’re a tad fed up with the constant rain.

It was quiet busy today and we handed out almost all of our survival guides and distributed our food parcels to people needing them. It’s an absolute travesty that they’re needed in the first place, but it’s only going to get worse, and I hate saying that.

Yesterday evening I spoke at a local NEU meeting about universal credit, poverty, children and young people. It was an excellent meeting I just hope that I didn’t depress them too much.

The sad reality is that for the poorest life in the UK is extremely hard, gruelling and punishing and it’s no surprise that the mortality levels keep on rising.

The effects of living in poverty will become all apparent in the future when the children and young people reach adulthood. Poverty really does take a toll both physically and mentally even if you don’t realise at the time and often surface later on in life.

Today I spoke to lots of people, most of them were disabled and struggling to cope. I saw tears, frustration, anger and people that are very close to giving up. What right does the government have to treat vulnerable people in this way? It won’t be stopping anytime soon either.

As usual I won’t be revealing a persons real name. Everyone that I spoke to received help, advice, food, signposting and solidarity. It’s extremely vital that we are able to continue our important work.

The first person that I spoke to had arrived at the Jobcentre with his bicycle and he wasn’t allowed to take his bike inside with him whilst he attended his appointment so we offered to look after it for him. He’s a lovely chap just trying his best to cope in a very difficult world.

It was then that I spotted a woman leaving the Jobcentre with her partner. She was visibly upset so I walked over and asked her if I could help her. This is her situation.

Janet is a mother of four children, she suffers from memory loss which she says it getting much worse. She forgot to attend a meeting at the Jobcentre because of her memory loss but when she saw that she should have attended a meeting she dashed down to the Jobcentre with her partner.

Janet was then met with the words ‘We’re going to sanction you because you didn’t attend a meeting’. She tried to tell them that she’s not well and suffers from memory loss and she said that they weren’t interested, she was going to be sanctioned and she was told to leave.

Janet should be receiving lots more support than she is at present. She hadn’t been advised about anything regarding her disabilities and nor did they care. I then advised her about what to do, I also advised her partner about what he can do to help her regarding this situation. I also signposted them to their local MP for help, I really hope that they’ve telephoned their office.

We also gave them a food parcel and stood with her whilst she was crying wondering how on earth she would manage to look after her children, because she’s not going to be able to buy them any food etc. She feels like a failure to them and everyone.

I hope that my words of support helped her and showed her that we do care and she is loved.

Sanctions appear to have gone under the radar until this week, indeed I’ve been campaigning against them for years as have others. I tell people that sanctions kill people, some have called me an extremist for saying this but it’s far from extreme isn’t it.

We need to continue to put pressure on the government, and remind them that they need to stop withdrawing the means of survival from vulnerable claimants. They shouldn’t be the ones to decide if a person lives or dies.

It was then that I spotter ‘Irene’ walking towards the Jobcentre with her friend.

Irene has been waiting since May for a decision about her claim for universal credit. She’s trying to survive on her sons pension. Her son died a few years ago.

Most of this pension money is spent on paying her rent, and she’s left with about £15 a month to live on.

So far Irene has been sent to three different Jobcentres by the DWP and not one of them have helped her so far, meanwhile her friend is buying her food etc.

For various reasons Irene isn’t able to use a computer, both herself and her friend had already told the DWP this and it was noted, but it didn’t stop a DWP telephone advisor from telling her to “GET A GRIP AND USE A COMPUTER”.

Of course this upset Irene and she just didn’t know what to do.

I advised her to telephone her local MPs office and ask them for their help. She really needs their support because MPs are really good at this, well our local MPs are and I appreciate that we’re lucky.

Irene was so thankful for the help, she’s so fed up with being messed around by the system. Lets hope that she gets some good news soon.

We then spoke to a man that has been waiting since May for a decision from a DWP decision maker. He told us that the DWP owed him money and this is probably why they’re taking their time in responding.

He’s probably correct. The DWP are extremely quick at taking money away from people but extremely slow at repaying money back that they owe.

Remember Amber Rudd telling everyone that universal credit is wonderful for everyone that has been in prison? Tell this to Dave, he can’t get a job because of his criminal record and can’t afford to become self employed either.

Amber Rudd you’re a liar and you know it don’t you.

It was then that we had a conversation with Gill and her partner. Gill is disabled and has fibromyalgia and other health problems.

Gill and her partner were forced to make a claim for universal credit which took ten weeks to be processed. Yes ten weeks, she’s disabled for heavens sake.

Gill recently failed a DWP medical assessment and is in the process of appealing.

Gill and her partner are now in debt with everyone and is forced to attend the Jobcentre for ‘meetings’. Are they going to magically cure her? I doubt it but they will make her even more unwell.

Quite understandably they’re extremely frustrated and depressed. This government really hates people with disabilities.

I had a short conversation with a woman about her council tax and how much of a struggle it is to pay it. I can totally relate to this.

Just before we left Gordon asked a young man if he needed any help. He told us that he was ok but they (the DWP) really hate him in there (the Jobcentre).

To be fair the DWP don’t like any of us do they.

We will be returning next week as usual, but we really need more support and we would love more people to join us. There’s only two of us now and I was going to organise our yearly anniversary demo, but there’s not much point if no ones going to be there.

I really hate to have to ask and I apologise for doing so.

Please read, share, tweet, email and talk about my blog.

Help a stranger, become a friend and understand that this could well happen to you. Most of my readers do realise this.

I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help others. I’m also going to be moved onto universal credit in the near future.

A massive thanks to all my readers and to everyone for supporting my blog. It means the world to me and the people that we help.

Homelessness, PIP assessment failures, terrible landlords and questionable work agencies. Another week outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

Dear readers, I can’t believe that it’s Thursday again. Time goes so quickly these days.

This weeks demo was very productive and we helped lots of people but we really do need more helpers. If you’re ever in the area please come and say hello.

It rained as usual today but only for the first hour of the demo. I was actually shocked to see the sun peeping out from behind a cloud.

My apologies if I’ve been quiet this week, I wasn’t feeling 100% but I think that now we might be seeing the end of the rain for a couple of days I should be ok.

Today’s demo went really quickly and we helped so many people with differing issues ranging from giving food parcels to someone who was in need of one to giving directions. It’s going to take people a long time to get used to the new Tameside One building.

I can’t thank Gordon enough for supporting me today, his help is invaluable and is really appreciated.

I shall list my conversations as usual. I won’t divulge a persons identity either so they don’t run the risk of being targeted by the DWP. I’ve seen this happen and the fear of this happening is very real.

I had requests for food parcels before the demo started from people who were in desperate need for food and a conversation. It’s heartbreaking to see peoples life’s spin totally out of their control, and not by their own doing.

I spoke to a young woman today whom I’ve had conversations with in the past on many occasions. My heart goes out to her it really does.

When they say that bad luck comes in three’s she’s had triple this amount and more, it isn’t her oen doing either.

Various events in her life have resulted in her needing more help than can be offered locally thanks to government cuts.

I handed her a food parcel and had a long conversation with her. I really wish that I had a magic wand to help her. She’s such a lovely woman and I hate seeing her like this.

It was then that I had a conversation with a man whom I shall call Bill.

Bill has been working for a job agency grabbing working whenever her can. However the agency that he’s working for is refusing to give him a job reference for another job that he’s looking for nor have they been paying him his full wage. The agency is also refusing to give him wage slips.

Call me cynical but I can smell a rat when I hear stories like this. This job agency are exploiting Bill, making him work long hours for little or no pay and refuse to give him a wage slip because they’re most likely committing fraud in some way.

Bill is also trapped into working for them because he can’t get another job without a reference from this employer.

Stories like this make me furious and I signposted him to Greater Manchester Law Centre for help.

Being trapped on universal credit is bad enough but combine this with an agency that are refusing to give him wage slips and his full wage is really making his life hell.

More needs to be done to outlaw these awful job agencies and to abolish zero hour contracts. People are really suffering as a result of them, and he wasn’t the first person that I spoke to today that found themselves in the same position.

I hope Bill is ok, he was a lovely chap that really deserves much more than to be treated like this.

I had a quick conversation with a woman who is in the process off appealing a PIP decision. She’s doing everything that she can to appeal this decision.

I had a conversation with a young man who had recently lost his temporary accommodation so he’s now moving between various night shelters. Call me old fashioned but I believe that everyone deserves a place to call home. Criminalising homeless people just makes things much worse. The government should be on trial for treating people like this, for taking funding away from necessary services.

Meanwhile it looks like Boris Johnson is going to become our next prime minister. God help us.

I had a conversation with a young man that is newly homeless and has found a job. His problem is that he needed some bus fare to get to his new job, of course the DWP refused to help him even though he claims universal credit and the DWP are claiming that universal credit helps people into work.

What a load of rubbish, if they actually did want this they’d give this man his bus fare and ensure that every single person upon finding work is given a fully contracted job not an unstable zero hour contract job with a dodgy agency that refuses to pay them.

Who cares though? We do, my readers do but the government don’t give a toss.

It was then that I spoke to a lovely young woman. Her story was very similar to Bills.

She’s working for a job agency getting work whenever she can and she’s also looking for a secure job. She has children to care for.

She asked her agency if she could have a reference to send to a future employer. They point blank refused saying that they didn’t have to. Her wages have also been sparodic. Not ideal when shes got children to look after.

Thinking that the DWP would help her she asked them for help but was refused so I signposted her to Greater Manchester Law Centre where they can hopefully help her.

This highlighted how bad many of these agencies are. At the moment they’re running roughshod over very vulnerable people with absolutely no governmental opposition from the Tory Party. Like John Mcdonall and Jeremy Corbyn say, these agencies and zero hour contracts need to be abolished.

I then had a conversation with a woman who has been battling a dodgy landlord for years. She told me about her substandard accommodation, leaking roofs, damp riddled walls etc.

It’s awful that she’s having to go through this. It’s had a detrimental effect on both her physical and mental health.

It’s much like the days of old from before Ken Loach made Cathy Come Home and Shirley Baker took a set of photographs that spurred the organisation Shelter to be formed.

It’s like stepping back in time, in my eyes right back to the mid 19th century onwards.

Whilst there’s a Tory government there’s suffering, the two go hand in hand and now we’ve most likely got Boris as our future prime minister.

Things aren’t going to get better until we vote them out and I can’t wait for that day.

A special mention goes out to members of DPAC that have collected thousands of copies of the Metro newspaper and gave them back to the Metro and the DWP.

The governments propaganda campaign has failed miserably through this campaign

Also the thousands upon thousands of people that have been forced onto universal credit that know the reality of this awful system.

Making work pay, don’t make me laugh. It’s the opposite and they know it.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. It’s really important that we get information like this out there for the world to see.

We will be back next week to help people.

There’s also a donate button at the top and side of this blog for anyone interested in donating. I’m a skint single parent struggling like everyone else is. Every penny does help.

A massive thanks to everyone that does already support my blog. Thank you ❤️.

The bedroom tax strikes again. Yet more tales from the Jobcentre.

Dear readers, as expected the weather was rotten, raining and windy. The temperature more like what we usually expect in winter. As a result we stayed for a hour and still helped lots of people. Also I was feeling pretty rubbish. My apologies again.

Because the weather was bad, we didn’t expect there to be as much demand for our food parcels. Sometimes people like to stay indoors so not to get wet, but I was wrong. There was a queue for the food parcels and we didn’t have enough to give to everyone, but we muddled through and everyone was ok.

It’s very hard to gauge what to expect, not one week is the same. People are continuing to suffer at the hands of the government and their persecutor of the poor the DWP.

I spotted a woman walking towards us, she was a new face and in need of our help.

As I handed her a food parcel and a copy of our survival guide I asked her if I could help her in any way. She replied saying that she was sick and tired of the bedroom tax,. She has to pay the bedroom tax for two spare bedrooms, and before anyone says that she should just move out, she can’t. As a result of the bedroom tax she has accrued debts with her landlord and just about everyone that she knows.

So she’s now dependent upon food banks and local support networks. She told me of how she likes to help others even though they may not thank her for it, saying ‘We’re all in the same boat so we should look out for each other’

That’s not easy when you have nothing though, and you don’t see any Tory MP offering to help anyone do you.

I helped her to the best of my abilities and I hope that shes ok.

It was then when I started a conversation with a young man, a new face that had come to see us on the advice of his friends. His story is this;

He is newly unemployed and is street homeless,.

He has just made an application for universal credit.

He wants to work but can’t find a job that would cover the expense of staying in supported housing or a hostel. The rent payable per person in these places are very high, therefore most people can only find work when they eventually find permanent accommodation.

Basically at the moment his priority is getting a bed for the night, but he will still have to fulfil his obligations with the DWP.

I signposted him to all relevant local organisations that can help him.

I then handed a leaflet to a young man and I asked him if he needed any help. His answer was that he’ll be struggling for the next two weeks until he hopefully receives his first universal credit payment.

I then spoke to an older man nearing pensionable age. He’s really suffered because of the horrendous DWP system that one minute tells him that he’s entitled to payments, and the next minute tells him that he isn’t entitled to anything.

I asked him how he’s been coping, he told me that he’s survived by doing odd jobs for people every now and then.

He told me that he was concerned about his data being shared by the DWP. This is a relevant worry because they do pass our information on to their ‘pals’.

As we continued with our conversation he told me that he had received a letter saying that he can apply for his pension early. I encouraged him to do this because it’s the only way out of this awful situation.

Things aren’t improving folks, its getting much worse. People aren’t able to afford to buy food etc because of the bedroom tax, the council tax supplement and debts. More and more people are dependent upon food banks and friends for help.

To be in any of the situations above is scary. Most of the people that I’ve spoken to throughout the years had never thought that they’d be in this situation and once there it’s devastated them.

We honestly can’t allow this to continue, far too many people are dying. We all need to challenge the government more in any way that you’re able.

The thought of Boris Johnson as the next prime minister is indeed a worrying thought. But if he does become our next prime minister we must constantly challenge him. We’ll certainly be the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

Thankfully Esther Mcvey has been ruled out of the equation. Her being prime minister would be absolutely horrific.

We’ll be returning next week and hopefully the weather will be better.

Many thanks to Gordon for helping me today.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.

A massive thank you to everyone that reads and supports my blog.

I’m a skint single parent struggling like everyone else and I speak from experience as well as having conversations with others.

For anyone wishing to donate there is a paypal link at the top of the blog and at the side. Thank you!!